By Daryl ‘Albert’ Gleeson
Here we go with Albert’s Diary for our September edition and what a … well let’s just say between the COVID-19 virus and my health, it’s been a bad month.
At least I can get to a race meeting. I have been going to the occasional Grafton meeting and even made it to Casino one day to keep an eye on Herdy and all his crew there. But seriously, my heart goes out to all the people in Victoria in lockdown – but at least we are racing.
It seems strange watching the best dogs in Melbourne racing at four o’clock in the afternoon at metro Meadows and Sandown meetings.
As we go to press it is the end of an era with the old Grafton track. Yep, that’s right. Monday August 24 was the last race meeting run there. Grafton will then have about six months of renovations and when they are finished it will look something like the old Harold Park. Hopefully by then the virus will be a thing of the past and we get all the interstate trainers coming back to Grafton for its wonderful carnival.
I always get asked: What are the best dogs I have seen at Grafton?’ Normally I accidentally leave a huge name out. So I will just give a few so I don’t get in trouble.
Albert’s best dogs to race at Grafton since 1977:
Best Greyhound ever – Brother Fox.
Best Sprinters Cup winners – Kunnunurra, Tickety Boo, Eureka Man.
Best Stayer to race at Grafton – He Knows Uno.
Champion dogs to win at Grafton: Pretty Short, Star Title, Royal Rumpus, Bright Ebony. Don’t forget Evelyn Harris’ champ Cosmic Bonus has won 73 races at time of writing.
So come Monday night about 9.30pm, that will be the last at Grafton for about 6 months.
Rexy Nairn at Wauchope has a massive TAB meeting coming up in late October so keep an eye on this month’s Chase for details. Hopefully Rexy I am there on course to cheer you on.
As I write this article we also have just had the news that the famous Coonamble Carnival has just been cancelled for 2020. This is an absolute tragedy for the tiny little town out west as the greyhound carnival generates enormous turnover for the town. But looking at the situation, what choice did the Coonamble bosses have. No Victorians, no Queenslanders, no western Sydney trainers because of the virus. So it would have been a very quiet carnival if it had gone ahead.
Now on to the NRL and what a close knit competition we have. Penrith are finally playing the footy most people have been tipping them to do for the previous three years. Roosters are easily the best side with their best 17 on the paddock. See that’s the problem. The Roosters are having a horror run with injuries. Canberra, I thought, they were gone when they lost Josh Hodgson, but geez this club just keeps finding a way. They are still a hope for sure.
Then there is The Storm. I must admit, at the start of the year, I gave them just a rough hope, but they are winning at the moment without Smith and Munster … and coached by the best ever in Craig Bellamy, so how can you pot ‘em. I know I have changed my mind about four times deciding the winner for 2020, but right at this stage I think the trophy will be going out to the Penny Panthers .
Speaking to my man at Geelong the other day – Mark Pearson – and Mark tells me big things are going on down at Geelong. Not only is the Geelong Cup on in October, but next year there will be a final of all heat winners – Geelong, Ballarat, etc, etc. Details of this big event will be out soon.